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Earth Science

2016 Will Be the Hottest Year On Record, UN Says (theguardian.com) 284

2016 will very likely be the hottest year on record and a new high for the third year in a row, according to the UN. It means 16 of the 17 hottest years on record will have been this century. From an article on The Guardian:The scorching temperatures around the world, and the extreme weather they drive, mean the impacts of climate change on people are coming sooner and with more ferocity than expected, according to scientists. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report, published on Monday at the global climate summit in Morocco, found the global temperature in 2016 is running 1.2C above pre-industrial levels. This is perilously close to to the 1.5C target included as an aim of the Paris climate agreement last December. The El Nino weather phenomenon helped push temperatures even higher in early 2016 but the global warming caused by the greenhouse gas emissions from human activities remains the strongest factor.
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2016 Will Be the Hottest Year On Record, UN Says

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @04:38PM (#53291895)

    Raising taxes makes it get colder out.

    • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @04:55PM (#53292049)
      Raising taxes doesn't make it colder out but the system of cap-and-trade (which most call taxes) does create financial incentives/disincentives to account for the environmental cost of using polluting sources of energy. Absent that system, power companies and manufacturers will use the cheapest source of energy they can find, which usually correlates to the most polluting source of energy. For those who think this interferes with the free market, Milton Friedman was a proponent of a cap-and-trade system and he was a staunch supporter of the free market with near-zero governmental interference.
      • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @06:42PM (#53292835)

        A supposedly free market depends on fully informed consumers and producers both making rational choices for their own interests.

        Just look at that statement. Look at the assumptions built into it. Tell me that's not a lot of horse shit. Information imbalance always existed. People are hardly rational. Free markets never existed, even when humanity consisted of 300 or so person pre-metal tribes.

        And then Led Zeppelin came along.

        But seriously, a free market is like a unicorn, with wings and the whole nine yards - a unicorn can be described, even painted, animated, carved into wood/stone/titanium, and stories and games written around it, but it doesn't exist and never will. Just like a free market.

        It is a figment of imagination and always will be. The fact that so many believe that it's a real thing says that a lot of people are willing to believe bullshit. It's not a fact. It's a religion. It's like believing that My Little Pony Friendship is Magic is a documentary. Rational adults know better.

        --
        BMO

        • Nobody informed about the mechanics of a free market would disagree with you - it's an imperfect system. But as Friedman would say - what's the better alternative?
          • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @07:25PM (#53293067)

            A 'science' built on false assumptions is what we call a pseudo-science. Much like homeopathy.

            >what friedman says

            Friedman can go piss up a rope. I read his book "the world is flat" and I have come to the conclusion that he entirely believes his own bullshit. Which is what it is. He argues that capital /should/ be fungible and it's a great thing that it is. The problem is that people aren't. There is no such thing as the free movement of people which is what you'd expect in a true free-market where capital is allocated.

            And he sees none of his views as harmful. So he can go fuck himself with his own book.

            >what we can do

            Deal with the market as it is, instead of trying to do it through gedankenexperiments-as-religion based upon nonsense.

            They (economists like Friedman) keep trying to make Economics a hard science, when it's not - it's a soft science at best like Sociology. It's not physics and will never be like physics.

            But they will keep trying, and getting people to buy their tomes. Because witchcraft still sells.

            --
            BMO

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          It's just a simple tragedy of the commons. If one person disposes of their waste in the river, it's not a huge problem. If everyone does it, the river becomes polluted and unusable for everyone. Unfortunately, there is little incentive for each individual to bare the cost of proper waste disposal, especially when they point to the group on the other side of the river that seems to be dumping in it already.

          Enough individuals will take the cheapest option to ensure that any market, free or otherwise, will cho

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @04:38PM (#53291897)

    It's 1, in the Trump Revolutionary Calendar. It's the 15th of Trumptember.

  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @04:42PM (#53291931) Homepage Journal

    Luckily for all we Americans, President Bernie Sanders has committed to taking action on global warming, saving the coastal states from massive floods and storms, and ending the massive subsidies for inefficient fossil fuels like coal and oil, while transitioning our workforce to higher paying jobs in solar and wind installation and maintenance, jobs that are 1000 times more than any propping up of a dying fossil fuel pipeline would be.

    We dodged one when that Trump guy lost. That was close.

    • Too soon man, too soon...
    • by Z80a ( 971949 )

      Was a good thing Hillary dropped her candidacy before the primaries.
      She probably would cheat her way in and end losing up to the republican candidate.

    • Hillary and Bernie aren't hard denialists like Trump, but they are deniers nevertheless. They think AGW is really happening and must be stopped. But they think a nudge here and there is enough to avert any discomfort. Plans calling for reducing CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050 and the like is really really too little too late.
  • by dryriver ( 1010635 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @04:52PM (#53292029)
    Slashdot used to be a site once where actual nerds/geeks/science majors used to comment on science and technology news. You could learn a lot from their opinions and insights, whether they agreed with your viewpoint or not. Now every time someone posts a Global Warming related story on Slashdot, a 4 story building worth of paid-per-post anti-AGW Trolls, each likely operating 20 - 50 sock puppet accounts, seem to post crap that Global Warming "isn't happening" or "cannot caused by human activity". The mere fact that this happens on a once "free" discussion site like Slashdot leads me to believe that a) Global Warming must be getting VERY bad indeed and b) the Energy Industry is very concerned about financial liability issues arising from this. By this I mean that when AGW starts to cause early deaths, natural disasters, major economic and environmental damage, contagious disease outbreaks and similar trouble in different parts of the world, the industry wants to be able to pretend that "nobody is liable for this because AGW simply does not and cannot exist". For this you obviously need a few hundred million dollars worth of Internet Trolls who flood sites like Slashdot with "IT ISN'T US. IT ISN'T US. IT ISN'T US..." Sad. Very, very sad.
    • Oh God, just shut up about paid trolls already. No one is getting paid to post to SLASHDOT. Barely anyone reads slashdot. Certainly not people who make policy.
    • Just move on from Slashdot.

      I gave up on fighting against the astroturfers here a few years back... wasn't worth the effort and stress anymore. I can still get good discussion about topics that matter to me at reddit -- just need to stay away from some of the subreddits there.

      Every once in a while I come check on Slashdot, and remember anew why I left. The place went to shit once the sockpuppet accounts got critical mass on mod points.
    • by quax ( 19371 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @06:17PM (#53292627)

      The ultimate irony is that even Saudi Arabia understands that the age of fossil fuels comes to and end, and prepares accordingly But not the US extremist right wing.

      If even a backwards kleptocratic monarchy, rooted in a Middle Ages value system, beats you in terms of mental flexibility, you know that you are truly fucked.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Don't forget the Russians, who have a vested interest in fossil fuel consumption and use paid trolls in psy-ops campaigns.

      I've had interactions here with people who are very likely Russian trolls: very pro-Putin, even pro-Yankuyovych, the disgraced and deposed Ukranian president who embezzled 70 billion dollars from the treasury and built this [spiegel.de] at a cost of a hundred million dollars of laundered money.

      • Say what you will about Putin, at least he admits that Climate Change is real. He's not doing anything about it, but he knows it's real.
    • by z0idberg ( 888892 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @07:30PM (#53293111)

      I agree completely, it's sad to see that the puppets are either swamping the moderator controls or worse still, actually influencing real moderators and commentators to the point that anti-AGW appears to be the more popular stance even on slashdot.

      Also, I don't believe industry is going to be able to deny AGW forever. I'd bet that industry heads are doing everything they can to kick the can down the road so that by the time the evidence is truly overwhelming they (as individuals) have collected their bonuses and are out of the picture in terms of personal prosecution so that it is their future replacements who are left standing when the music stops.

    • by Trogre ( 513942 )

      Or:

      The professional anti-AGW trolls have campaigned successfully and there are otherwise intelligent people here who honestly believe the BS they have been fed elsewhere.

      We saw the same thing here recently when /. was flooded with SJW posts that pushed every tiny LGBTQRSC issue as if it were a matter of fundamental human rights.

    • Hacker News is decent as far as civil intelligent discourse goes, albeit not much "regular news" to be found there, and the comment layout is such that it makes following a discussion thread more difficult than it need be.

      Soylent News is barely even worth your time. The same clique posting and being upvoted, with more than a few of said clique posting the most bogus crap - that gets upvoted... that you can't vote down (unless you're in the regular clique) - even though everyone has 5 mod points/day.

      Back bef

    • Year of lies and propaganda by the GOP and the denialist finally hit the mark : people really DO think AGW is an hoax. Repeat a lie often enough and some people will start believe it. After all there is quite an incredible number of holocaist denialist, moon landing denialist and 9/11 "truther". It should not surprise you that there is now a lot of people which believe AGW is an hoax.
  • by blindseer ( 891256 ) <blindseerNO@SPAMearthlink.net> on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @04:54PM (#53292041)

    A few years ago, about this time of year, I was told by a co-worker about how that year was forecast to be exceedingly warm. I pointed out that the year wasn't over and it is quite possible to have an unusually cold November and December to average it out. When January came around I found a news article on how the last year was merely average. When I presented this to that same hysterical co-worker merely two months later and he denied he had made any hysterical comments before.

    Now we see people not even waiting until the year starts to make such predictions. Those that get all worked up over it now will be exceedingly forgetful if the predictions fail and have very very good memories if it does. Here's my tiny tiny little mention of this phenomenon. It will be interesting if someone remembers this post and revisits it a year later to see how well I did in my prediction.

    • A few years ago... I pointed out that the year wasn't over and it is quite possible to have an unusually cold November and December to average it out.

      Must have been 2011, which due to La Nina was the coolest year on record in this century. Note, that the Novembers since then represent the 5th, 1st, 7th, and 1st hottest Novembers on record. (Plus whatever happens this year)

      Now we see people not even waiting until the year starts to make such predictions

      Like 11 of the last 12 months were the hottest of (that

    • You want to name that year? Since even the coldest years this century have been half a degree C above average, I'm curious to know what exactly you mean by 'merely average'.

  • There was a lot of hot air from the elections this year.

  • by foxalopex ( 522681 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @04:57PM (#53292073)

    I've always found it fascinating that folks accuse China of generating the most greenhouse gasses and while yes by absolute number of people they probably do that's the worst interpretation of statistics ever. China has a LOT of people, if you believe in equality everyone should have the same chance at the standard of living as everyone else. The problem is that we're a very rich country, so per capita alone we generate per person more emissions than a typical Chinese citizen. We use more resources than a typical counterpart in China. (A lot of the stuff that China produces is sold to us.) and so on. It's like a billionaire asking why they can pay a tax of a 1/2 million dollars as pocket change while that would financially bankrupt the average citizen. As the leading country and the wealthiest we need to contribute a bigger share because it will technically hurt us per person less. If we don't how would we expect someone who might not be able to contribute without literally dying to give up a part of their share?

    And it is a problem. Climate change is likely to hit poorer countries first, and when conditions are unsustainable, who's door do you think they'll come knocking on first? If you're the one with all the food and everyone else is starving to death, it doesn't matter if you're armed, you're in deep trouble if you don't share. And it's not like we can't share, we do actually have enough for everyone. It's just, it's hard to give up luxury.

    • >> It's like a billionaire asking why they can pay a tax of a 1/2 million dollars as pocket change ...

      Especially since combustion of fossil fuels significantly aided our billionaires in gaining those billions. But hey, if things go to heck in a handbasket, at least they'll have their virtual bank accounts with which they can buy food...
    • Nope! Stop with the narrative, it's false. Didn't you get the memo? The funniest part it is your own high priest of Global Warming who said this.

      The fact is that even if every American citizen biked to work, carpooled to school, used only solar panels to power their homes, if we each planted a dozen trees, if we somehow eliminated all of our domestic greenhouse emissions, guess what - that still wouldn't be enough to offset the carbon pollution coming from the rest of the world.

      f all the industrial nat

    • No and you're an idiot. A screaming raving lunatic idiot driving over the cliff kind of idiot, by the way. The total amount of CO2 is the issue. The atmosphere cares nothing for the amount of pollution per person. Per capita emissions just means that we need to reproduce more and then everything is ok, right? Wrong, and wrong thinking at the most fundamental level. Consider, if they produce this much now with their underdeveloped emerging third world infrastructure, what will happen once they grow int

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      China has been reducing its dependency on lignite, aka "brown coal". This is in part to address their epic, mind-boggling smog problems, but it has also had the effect of flattening the net worldwide growth anthropogenic carbon emissions [independent.co.uk] over the past three years. I've checked the journal's impact factor and although it's new it is ranked in the top quartile of Earth and planetary sciences journals.

  • Deniers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @05:59PM (#53292513)

    I was born and raised in the UK before moving to the US about 15 years ago.
    Back then it was considered self-evident by pretty much every person in the EU that global warming was not only real, but very definitely anthropomorphic (man-made), and also inevitably going to kill us all if we didn't do something very tangible about it very quickly, which probably meant significant but necessary lifestyle compromises. Anybody that denied global warming was frankly considered a retard.
    After doing significant ongoing research on the Internet I still believe that global warming is very real and anthropomorphic, and even though we don;t have absolute proof, since 99.9% of the scientific community and all indicators point that way, (and for those that don't, all have connections/funding to big oil), it just makes basic common sense to take global warming seriously and do all we can before its too late to do anything.
    Fast forward to today. I now live in the US.
    I'm honestly amazed by the number of Americans (including some of my best friends and apparently also including our next president) that apparently sincerely believe that global warming is not even happening and is all just made up by the scientists, or worse, just some commie plot.
    With Trumps recent announcement of cutting the EPA and appointing Myron Ebell (famous climate change denier) to head the EPA transition team, I've got to ask:
    Am I the fool for unduly worrying about our only means of survival, or is the majority of the rest of America the fool for being so willfully ignorant of all the scientific research and the associated danger of ultimate extinction of much if not all life on earth, for a few short-term dollars?

    • There's no mystery, really, to the climate change deniers. Many who voted for Trump are older in age. They won't be around long enough to experience the worst effects of climate change, so they basically don't care.

      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        Thats no excuse. I myself am over 50, and I'm pretty damn sure its real. Actually many of the deniers I've met are Millenials.

      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        Its also wrong to say we don't care. Most of us over 50 have kids. Besides, most of my family make it to at least 90.

    • Re:Deniers (Score:5, Interesting)

      by h33t l4x0r ( 4107715 ) on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @07:02PM (#53292935)
      Well, you have to remember that 44% of Americans get their news from Facebook, and it's mostly fake. So you've got 1) Climate change isn't real and 2) It's real but it's too late to do anything about it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by phantomfive ( 622387 )
      So......you have two appeals to authority in your post. One is to the European people, and one is to 'the internet.'

      I'll be honest, your sources of information are pathetic at best, no better than the people you insult. If you're going to insult people, at least say, "I got my information from NASA" or "according to the IPCC, X is true." Even a lesser source like NYT, WSJ, or BBC would be better than what you have..........
      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        >> I'll be honest, your sources of information are pathetic at best, no better than the people you insult.

        Well your assumption is pathetic at best, worse than the people you insult.

        Actually I did focus on getting info from credible places, I used the internet as the mechanism to get it.
        The reason I said "the internet" rather than reference each place individually is a) because its missing the point b) because I don't remember everywhere I gathered info from c) If I did, it would be hundreds of referen

    • Re:Deniers (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @07:33PM (#53293127)

      If you were born and raised in the UK, you'll doubtless be familiar with the Four Stage Strategy:

      Sir Richard Wharton: In stage one we say nothing is going to happen.
      Sir Humphrey Appleby: Stage two, we say something may be about to happen, but we should do nothing about it.
      Sir Richard Wharton: In stage three, we say that maybe we should do something about it, but there's nothing we *can* do.
      Sir Humphrey Appleby: Stage four, we say maybe there was something we could have done, but it's too late now.

      The anti-AGW brigade is mostly, currently, on stage 3. They've made a small refinement to the basic model, however, and the argument you'll see most often parroted around here is "the solution the Enemy have come up with is wrong/ineffective because Al Gore sucks donkey balls". I paraphrase only slightly.

      • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

        Yes I'm familiar with the comedy show that came from, but what you're apparently insinuating is that the UK/EU is all talk and has actually done nothing to reduce carbon emissions in the last 15 years, which is very not true. UK emissions were 35% below 1990 levels in 2014.
        https://www.theccc.org.uk/tack... [theccc.org.uk]

    • Re:Deniers (Score:4, Informative)

      by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday November 15, 2016 @07:56PM (#53293293) Homepage Journal

      Two minor corrections:

      global warming was not only real, but very definitely anthropomorphic (man-made)

      "Anthopomorphic" means "having human characteristics" or "human-like". The word you want is "anthropogenic".

      also inevitably going to kill us all if we didn't do something very tangible about it very quickly

      It's extremely unlikely that it will kill us all, or even a particularly large number of us. What it will do is make us move a lot of people and a lot of farms, which will be very expensive, likely consuming a considerable portion of planetary GDP for many years. Almost certainly far more than it would cost us to cut emissions.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Am I the fool for unduly worrying about our only means of survival

      Well maybe not quite a fool, but there is almost nothing that would be an extinction level event for the human species. In a sense all those post-apocalyptic stories get it right: no matter how hellish things get people will find a way to survive.

      Disruptive change eats its way from the most vulnerable and then moves on up. At the status quo, baseline level of climate change you always had someone somewhere dying from famine, and just above them you have people who are impoverished by it, and above them yo

    • Well said.

      ...significant but necessary lifestyle compromises.

      Actually, not all that significant in terms of living standards and comfort levels. It's like obesity - or other addictive behaviours - you consume far too much, and it actually makes your life worse, ruins your health, but you imagine you can't live without it. But when you have to, it turns out that you start feeling better, your health improves, and so on. How much does any person actually need to live a life that they would feel good about? Hard to answer, of course, but certainly a lot less

  • half the people on slashdot told me warming has paused for over a decade now.

    Could they have been lying ? Never...

  • Since Trump already is installing a climate change denier as head of the EPA and wants more smoke stack pollution to be legal we can all assume that pollution and global warming will become amplified rather than resisted. A nation that elects such trash deserves what is going to happen to it.

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